Doggone! Facebook helps find Marley

2011-05-18 00:00

FACEBOOK users in Pietermaritzburg have expressed their delight after a famous dog was reunited with his owner.

Marley the staffie is well known to students whom he formerly lived with in digs. Many students expressed their concern after Marley disappeared following a burglary at his new home in Ridge Road.

His frantic owner, Thomas Hart, feared the worst and posted a message on Facebook saying that Marley had gone missing.

Marley was acquired after the digs where Hart lived in 2005 was robbed a few times.

“We got him from the SPCA as a guard dog and a digs-mate. All the students knew him,” said Hart.

Hart said that on Saturday his bicycle was stolen off the verandah. “We later discovered Marley was gone too.” Hart is not sure if Marley was frightened off or chased away or if he had just run away. He feared the dog might even have been stolen.

“I couldn’t get hold of the SPCA to check if he was there, so I Facebooked for people to look out for him. My sister, Jess, sent out updates on Sunday and the story went viral with friends.”

On Monday Hart went to the SPCA and to his delight found Marley there.

“It was a relief. It turns out a neighbour had found him and taken him there. He only went across the road.”

The dog is named after Bob Marley, said Hart. “He would stand on the wall of the garden, perched up high. When a truck or a bike came past, he would leap down and chase it. When friends saw him standing on the wall, the students would call him the Lion of Zion.”

The digs Marley guarded, at the bottom of Fairfield Avenue, was called the Republic of Scottsville.

“He was adored by us and females. He rescued the digs later that year when he chased two intruders away,” said Hart.

In 2006, the students separated and Hart took responsibility for Marley. When Hart moved to Durban, Marley moved to his parents’ house.

The Witness webmaster and social media strategist, Ryan Calder, said Facebook is the ideal forum to get word out quickly.

“It’s a platform which people engage in often, especially students.”

SPCA spokesperson Maureen Vida said she was thrilled at the outcome. “We are grateful to people who bring in strays and encourage people who have lost pets to come and look, because it can have a happy ending,” said Vida.

THE saga unfolds on the web:


Jessica ‘Morango’ Hart: Anyone in Scottsville see a very well fed (ie fat) tanned staffie cross running around please take him to spca … he’s gone MIA after a robbery at our home and we are worried sick!

Brad Mantle: I hope u find him!!!!!!!!! :-(

Niamh Moloney: Not Marley

Jessica ‘Morango’ Hart: MARLEY HAS BEEN FOUND!!!

Donnae Sharpe: Great news!

ALICE RUTH MORRISON: Check SPCA tomorrow or their ‘holding cells” out the front tonight. Holding thumbs he turns up!

Raimund Weber: Marley was stolen?! WTF?

Thomas Bushmen Hart: Marley found, bike still missing

RAIMUND WEBER: Phew. Where was he?

Thomas Bushmen Hart: Dog Marley, the Lion of Zion, is sitting on his throne, a.k.a my bed.

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